The Bureau of Immigration has cancelled the work visas of 528 foreigners in its biggest employment fraud crackdown to date.
In a statement today (Tuesday, June 4), BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said that after conducting a post-audit of visa applications of six target companies, it was discovered that their foreign employees had submitted fake Alien Employment Permits (AEP).
The AEP is a permit issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and is a prerequisite in applying for work visas with the BI.
“I have directed the intelligence division to conduct a case build-up against said companies after receiving information that they have petitioned foreign nationals by submitting fake documents,” he said.
Commissioner Morente declined to name the six companies involved, saying that investigations were still underway.
However, he divulged that the companies were from Manila, Paranaque and Caloocan, and were involved in consultancy, residential sales, education and information technology.
The foreigners with cancelled visa comprised of 259 Indians, 230 Chinese, 14 Koreans, 11 Japanese, five Taiwanese, three Vietnamese, along with a German, Burmese, Nigerian, Nepalese, Sudanese and Yemeni.
“These are just six companies, we expect to uncover more in the next few months,” Commissioner Morente added.
He also encouraged people to report illegal aliens. “We need everybody’s help. Filipinos as well as legally staying aliens must report illegal foreigners in their area, and you can be assured that we will act on your reports,” he said.
He also stated that the 528 were in “clear violation of Section 37 of the Philippine Immigration Act for obvious misrepresentation and fraud.
“The BI, through the Intelligence Division, is revitalising its campaign of eradicating illegal foreign workers in the country,” he added. “It will be a campaign that will be felt nationwide, and you can expect more arrests and cancellations in the next few months.”
Commissioner Morente also said that there had been post-audits and visa cancellations in the past, but never on such a large scale.
“I am appalled to learn of big companies that blatantly disregard our laws and submit fake documents,” he said. “These companies knowingly hire illegal foreign workers that take away jobs from Filipinos and law-abiding foreigners. Our Intel has been working nonstop to catch foreigners who make a mockery of our laws and procedures.”
The 528 foreigners will be expelled from the country and blacklisted from ever returning.
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